Palaeoposition of the Seychelles microcontinent in relation to the Deccan Traps and the Plume Generation Zone in Late Cretaceous–Early Palaeogene time
M. Ganerød, T. H. Torsvik, D. J. J. van Hinsbergen, C. Gaina, F. Corfu, S. Werner, T. M. Owen-Smith, L. D. Ashwal, S. J. Webb, B. W. H. Hendriks, 2011. "Palaeoposition of the Seychelles microcontinent in relation to the Deccan Traps and the Plume Generation Zone in Late Cretaceous–Early Palaeogene time", The Formation and Evolution of Africa: A Synopsis of 3.8 Ga of Earth History, D. J. J. Van Hinsbergen, S. J. H. Buiter, T. H. Torsvik, C. Gaina, S. J. Webb
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The Early Palaeogene magmatic rocks of North and Silhouette Islands in the Seychelles contain clues to the Cenozoic geodynamic puzzle of the Indian Ocean, but have so far lacked precise geochronological data and palaeomagnetic constraints. New 40Ar/39Ar and U–Pb dates demonstrate that these rocks were emplaced during magnetochron C28n; however, 40Ar/39Ar and palaeomagnetic data from Silhouette indicate that this complex experienced a protracted period of cooling. The Seychelles palaeomagnetic pole (57.55°S and 114.22°E; A9512.3°, N=14) corresponds to poles of similar ages from the Deccan Traps after being corrected for a clockwise rotation of 29.4°±12.9°. This implies that Seychelles acted as an independent microplate between the Indian and African plates during and possibly after C27r time, confirming recent results based on kinematic studies. Our reconstruction confirms that the eruption of the Deccan Traps, which affected both India and the Seychelles and triggered continental break-up, can be linked to the present active Reunion hotspot, which is being sourced as a deep plume from the Plume Generation Zone.
Experimental data are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18482.
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The African continent preserves a long geological record that covers almost 75% of Earth’s history. The Pan-Africanorogeny (c.600–500—Ma) brought together old continental kernels (West Africa, Congo, Kalahari and Tanzania) to form Gondwana and subsequently the supercontinent Pangaea by the late Palaeozoic. The break-up of Pangaea since the Jurassic and Cretaceous, primarily through opening of the Central Atlantic, Indian, and South Atlantic oceans, in combination with the complicated subduction history to the north, gradually shaped the African continent.
This volume contains 18 contributions that discuss the geology of Africa from the Archaean to the present day. It celebrates African geology in two ways: first, it highlights multidisciplinary Earth science research by viewing the formation and evolution of Africa from 18 different angles; second, it celebrates the work of Kevin Burke and Lewis Ashwal and portrays the wide range of interests and research angles that have characterized these two scientists throughout their careers, working in Africa, and studying African geology.